VOA: Trump: Little Political Support for Age Limit Change for Gun Buyers12 March 2018 | 22:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Hours after White House officials laid out gun-law changes they want enacted in the wake of last month's deadly shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead, Trump said on Twitter that "very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks [for gun purcahsers] will be fully backed." He said that bump stocks, which boost the firepower of some assault weapons, "will soon be out."
In addition, he said, "highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry [weapons in schools], subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!"
But he added that he has held off on increasing the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, "while watching court cases and rulings before acting." He said states, absent changes adopted by Congress, are acting on their own to increase the gun-buying age.
Florida enacted its own law last week banning the purchase of firearms by anyone under the age of 21.
The National Rifle Association lobbying group has filed a lawsuit challenging the law, calling it "an affront" to the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, which many believe enshrines gun ownership.
Trump had earlier endorsed increasing the age restriction, but the White House only pledged Sunday to help individual states provide "rigorous firearms training" to some teachers and endorsed a bill to tighten the federal background check system for gun purchasers.
Trump said on Twitter that if schools in the U.S. are mandated to be "gun free zones" then "violence and danger are given an open invitation to enter."
In a conference call with reporters, administration officials said Trump will urge states to give law enforcement the power to temporarily seize guns from people or prevent them from purchasing the weapons if they demonstrate a threat. The president will also support expanding mental health programs.
There has been an increased national U.S. focus on gun control policy following the mass shooting at the Florida high school. Authorities have charged a 19-year-old man who a year was expelled from the school with the killings, saying he used a semi-automatic rifle.
Many students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have been vocal in calling for state and national leaders to take actions to ensure another such shootings do not happen again. Students across the country are planning a walkout Wednesday, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, as well as a march in Washington on March 24.
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